Sunday, August 22, 2010

Couple of Things 11/06

I got to remembering an event some time ago..back when I was expecting my first son.
Another blogger had written that it was snowing and she'd heard thunder.  I wrote her that it reminded me of a rather scary time when I was expecting my first. 
We, my husband and I were attempting to go home which meant getting up a mountain in Germany where we lived at the time.  It was high enough (Wasserkuppe) that my ears either opened or closed depending on ascent or descent.
Anyway, we'd been down to a city and were ready to get home.  Part way up in our trusty VW sedan, the snow started pelting down.  I mean it was coming down in buckets.  As we ascended, the snow got harder and added considerably to the already existing snow layer.  To make a long story a bit shorter I will tell you that by the time we got to the height where my ears closed, as usual (I had an inner ear infection) we could not see because the snow had created a whiteout condition.  What's more, it had turned to a blizzard as the wind was so strong. So here we were.  My husband had opened the window and put his head outside trying to see.  That absolutely did NOT work.  He drew to a halt, who knows where on the road, (we hoped we were still on the road..who knew???) and he got out.  He could not have been outside the vehicle more than a minute when the door opened and he came back in.  He was literally coated with snow.  Even his face to a degree.  It was frightening as it seemed we were stuck there and who knew how long. We sat quietly and then, we saw a flash.  Nope, it was not the paparazzi!    But it WAS lightening.  Several more flashes followed and then we heard thunder.  That was our first (and last) time we ever ever heard thunder and saw lightening during blizzard-like conditions. 
We probably sat there a couple of hours and the snow had slowed down to where we could see.  It was very deep however what with the addition on top of what was already there.  We were trying to think how we could get out of this not too cool situation when we heard heavy motor sounds. 
Turned out to be the snowplow.  My husband got out, assessed the VW and when the plow came near us, he got closer to the car so we could get out and follow him.  That we did and gratefully too. 
We made it back to the gasthaus we were living in on the old German Airbase and took stock of our situation.  A day later found us setting forth again down the mountain into the smaller towns. 
When we came back to the States, we and our VW had been everywhere all over Europe and through all manner of snow.  So, this particular area where we settled on coming back to the U.S. seemed to have weather of no consequence.
That was until we saw the church emptying out at 1130 one Sunday morning and we thought " How incredibly rude!"  We stayed and it took us 5 1/2 hrs. to make it 4 miles to the house.  Why?  When it snows HERE (and I am still here) it snows ball Bering's!!! I have NEVER ever EVER seen or experienced slithery snow as we have here in this area. 
Most folks, when they call for snow here just hunker down even when it is just a few inches.  It is like as I said, ball bearings!!! I used to just call work and say come and get me as I live on a high hill. This whole city is hilly and or mountainous.  People are slid off into the ditches everywhere.  Since I have always been in an "essential job" they always loaded up with chains etc and crept up here for me.  When  I used to wake up and find it white out there I would reach my arm out and grab a handful of snow off the deck.  If I could compress it in my hand..I set out on whatever trip I had to make..cautiously.  If it fell apart in my hands (and 99.9 % of the time it did) I stayed home or put in a call to come and get me.  Ball bearings again.
OK..that's it.  Too long a memory here.

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